Has a dentist recommended orthodontic treatment for you or your child, or are you interested in straightening your teeth? If that’s the case, you may be wondering if traditional metal braces are the right course of treatment. At Jaffe Orthodontics, we desire to help patients looking for braces in Barrington, Portsmouth, and Bristol, RI make an informed choice as they seek a straighter smile and healthier mouth.
Braces are the ideal tool to fix poor tooth alignment and malocclusion (crooked or crowded teeth). Many people think of braces as the means to achieve a better-looking smile. This is true — one of the end results of orthodontic treatment is an aesthetically pleasing smile. However, proper orthodontic treatment also leads to a healthier mouth. According to the American Dental Association, neglecting to correct an abnormal bite can lead to oral health problems such as:
Traditional braces can seem intimidating, but recent advancements in medical technology have resulted in braces that are much more lightweight, comfortable, and better-looking than they used to be. They are made from high-grade stainless steel and have metal brackets that attach to each tooth using a special type of cement. Each bracket is linked with an archwire that puts pressure on the teeth, allowing them to move to the desired position. The archwires are connected to the brackets using elastics called o-rings. These are changed each time your orthodontist tightens the braces. These elastics require fewer adjustments than they have in the past as orthodontic treatment has grown and evolved.
If you and your orthodontist opt for traditional braces, expect to receive treatment for about one to three years. You’ll need to keep up with your orthodontic appointments during this time. Brushing and flossing regularly is necessary to avoid problems with plaque buildup, and a special type of toothbrush can help you get inside the crevices and effectively brush your teeth. You’ll also need to avoid certain foods, particularly ones that are sticky, such as caramels and gums. Once your braces are off, you’ll wear a retainer for a period of time. This helps keep your teeth in their new position.
As the field of orthodontics continues to grow, more options are becoming available that can substitute for traditional braces. If clear aligners such as Invisalign® are available, then why choose the bulkier, more obvious traditional metal braces?
Traditional braces are less expensive than clear aligners, so they are a great choice for individuals or families on a budget. You also don’t have to worry about misplacing an expensive piece of equipment. This makes them ideal for preteens, teenagers, or adults who worry they may accidentally lose their clear aligners.
While the above elements are important to keep in mind, a more significant factor should be considered. When deciding to choose traditional braces over other options, the degree to which your mouth is overcrowded is the key factor in making the decision. In the case of severe overcrowding, traditional braces do the best job of realigning teeth.
Dr. Jaffe is an orthodontist in Barrington and Portsmouth, RI who serves patients seeking orthodontic treatment in these towns and the surrounding area, including Bristol. Our welcoming staff at Jaffe Orthodontics is dedicated to providing a comfortable experience and expert care. If you’re interested in learning more about how orthodontic treatment can help you or your child achieve a straighter, healthier smile, contact us today.